Daylight saving time could impact your mental health during pandemic, psychologist says

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With clocks falling back an hour this weekend for daylight saving time, having less sunlight might impact you more during the pandemic.

As a result of COVID-19, more people are experiencing anxiety and depression, said Thea Gallagher, a clinical psychologist. And with the reduction of sunlight once daylight saving time takes place, Gallagher said it just might make matters worse.

“We're indoors more, less activities outside, less things to do. They're feeling more sad or depressed,” Gallagher explained.

Medical studies on seasonal depression have shown that you can experience mental and physical changes, and now with the isolation of the pandemic and the election, more people are vulnerable to getting depressed, she said.

With the sun setting earlier, it can disrupt your internal clock.

“Getting outside,” she advised. “We know that even if it's for 20 minutes a day does make a difference. Someone asked me, ‘What are we going to do with getting outside when it gets colder.’ I said get a warmer jacket.”

Practice self-care and try to find ways to unwind and if it all just gets too much for you, she added, don't be afraid to ask someone for help.